Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: Conversion

One of my least favorite parts about starting school is having less time to read. Instead of reading for pleasure, I'm now reading textbooks. However, I still aim to read at least two books a week (which if you know me is a pretty low amount). Everyone says syllabus week is their favorite because all the professor does is explain the class and while you're not actually learning anything, I find this part to be the most stressful. You're having to put all the exam dates in your planner, learning expectations, setting up things, and it's a whirlwind. I much prefer when things are on a regular basis. Anyways, onto the book review!

There was a period in middle school where I was obsessed with learning about the Salem Witch Trials (and it helped that I lived 45 min away). Needless to say, I enjoy reading books that are somehow related to them. Enter Conversion by Katherine Howe. The novel mainly focuses on a "mystery illness" occurring in girls at St. Joan's school in Danvers. What I really liked about the novel was that 1/3 of it focused on the perspective of a girl involved in the Salem Witch Trials. Her perspective was historically accurate but it didn't make you feel like you were reading historical fiction, and it tied in nicely with what was happening during present day.

Colleen is the main character of the novel and I rather liked her. Howe does a good job of not only focusing on the illness surrounding Colleen's peers, but also incorporating her daily life as she is applying to college and dating. I would call this a mystery novel because you don't know what is causing this mystery illness (and don't ever really find out). Howe seems to suggest that the girls might be faking, as they were in the Salem Witch Trials, but there is lots of ambiguity and room for interoperation on this. I always enjoy novels that take place in areas I've been in, so that was a bonus. Although there are over 400 pages, it's a face-paced read and I was always wanting to know what would happen next. I give it 4/5.

It's taken me an incredibly long time to get through the final season of How I Met Your Mother--mostly because I've been a lot busier but also because something about this season just doesn't quite do it for me. I have two episodes left and will most likely be done by today, but I don't feel very satisfied by it.

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